VATICAN INSIDER: ALL SAINTS AND ALL SOULS ALL’ITALIANA
In Vatican Insider on this first weekend of November, in place of what is normally the interview segment after the news and a Q&A, I offer a special look at some lovely traditions in Italy, a slice of life that is just a few days each year – holy days and holidays celebrated in big fashion, year after year. I look at the feasts of All Saints and All Souls and their celebrations all’italiana.
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POPE MARKS 60 YEARS OF CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY MEDICAL FACULTIES
Pope Francis on Friday morning celebrated an outdoor Mass at Rome’s Gemelli Catholic University Hospital to mark the 60th anniversary of its Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, named for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The hospital and its University campus is one of the most important and internationally acclaimed care providers in Italy.
Francis in his homily reflected on the faculty’s name and on the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to whom we dedicate the first Friday of the month.
He thanked the staff for the care he received there in July, and reflected on how devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus can help care workers be guided in their mission to heal and comfort the sick.
For the 60th anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Sacred Heart Catholic University is donating basic necessity medicines to health facilities in Lebanon, Syria and Sudan through the almsgiver of the Holy See Cardinal Konrad Krajewski.
POPE FRANCIS TO TRAVEL TO CYPRUS AND GREECE IN DECEMBER
The Vatican announced today that Pope Francis will undertake a 5-day Apostolic Journey to Cyprus and Greece in early December, spending December 2 to 4 in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus and journeying to Greece from the 4th to the 6th. In Greece he will visit Athens and Lesbos. The trip is upon the invitation of the countries’ civil authorities and Bishops’ Conferences.
POPE: NEW APOSTOLIC LIBRARY EXHIBIT SPACE BEARS WITNESS TO BEAUTY
Pope Francis visited the Vatican Apostolic Library Friday afternoon to inaugurate a new permanent exhibition area, and he urged the Church to bear witness to the importance of beauty and culture.
By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)
The Apostolic Library is opening up to the public for the first time with a dedicated space for temporary exhibitions of contemporary art.
Pope Francis inaugurated the new space on Friday evening, which was financed by the heirs of the American entrepreneur and philanthropist Kirk Kerkorian.
Beauty touches the soul
In a speech to participants in the event, the Pope reflected on the theme of beauty and how the Church must bear witness to the importance of beauty and culture.
“Beauty,” he said, “is not a fleeting illusion of an appearance or of an ornament; rather, it is born from the root of goodness, truth, and justice, which are its synonyms.”
He added that the human person needs both bread and culture, “which touches the soul, and which brings the human being to our most profound dignity.”
Pope Francis also encouraged the Apostolic Library to preserve the past while translating Christian history into new languages.
Humanity on its way
During his visit, the Pope also spent some time admiring a site-specific exhibition by Italian artist Pietro Ruffo. The exhibit goes under the title “Everyone: Humanity on its way.” It recalls the Pope’s encyclical Fratelli tutti, and turns part of the space into “a lush tropical forest.”
It offers a journey through historic artefacts from the Library, including charts and a 6-metre-long (19-6 feet) 17th century map of the Nile made by Evliya Çelebi, concluding with utopic and allegorical maps created by Mr. Ruffo.
Journey through human history and dreams
The exhibit, explained Don Giacomo Cardinali who oversees the new space, explores “non-geographical cartography.”
“Throughout the history of humanity,” he said, “people have used the representative power of the map not only to describe the objectivity of the Earth, but also our own interiority, ideals, journeys, discoveries, and convictions.”
Mr. Ruffo, he added, has put together an exhibit that will show the visitor “allegorical, theological, satirical, and sentimental maps, as well as maps of desire and of protest, of humanity’s dreams and desperation.”
In his speech, the Pope noted that humanity needs “new maps” in order to discover fraternity, social friendship, and the common good.
“A closed-off mindset is sterile and full of uncertainty,” said the Pope. “We need a new beauty which is not the usual reflection of the power of a select few but is a courageous mosaic of the diversity of all people.”
The temporary exhibition will be open to the public until February 25, 2022 every Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 to 6 PM. Tickets can be purchased at the website of the Apostolic Library.
Space for culture of encounter
According to Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, Archivist of the Apostolic Library, the new exhibition space is meant to promote a culture of encounter.
“One expects such a large library to help realize what Pope Francis has prophetically called a ‘culture of encounter’,” said the Cardinal. “It is a place where books encounter readers to trace new paths, where knowledge preserved as memory may encounter the questions that modern life asks of us, and where history encounters the present, opening up new perspectives not only on what we have been but also on what we can become.”